Xuanwu Lake

Xuanwu Lake, Nanjing
Situated at the foot of Mt. Zhongshan in Nanjing, Xuanwu Lake is a beautiful scenic spot protected by China. It is an enormous urban lake, dotted with causeways and islands. It is also one of the three most famous lakes in Nanjing. Surrounding it are Circumvallation, Mt. Jiuhua and Jiming Temple.

The history of Xuanwu Lake can be traced back to the Pre-Qin period. The name of the lake has changed several times during the long history. In the past, it was known as Sangpo, Moling Lake, Hou Lake or Kunming Lake. It was said that there emerged a black dragon during the Liusong Period of the South Dynasty, so the lake was named Xuanwu Lake. In the North Song Dynasty, Wang Anshi initiated a new law to replace lakes with fields. In the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang erected high walls and recovered the lakes from fields, so that the Xuanwu Lake became a natural city moat. The Xuanwu Lake Park was officially opened to visitors in 1911.

There are five isles in the lake: Huan Isle, Ying Isle, Liang Isle, Cui Isle and Ling Isle. When you are on the Huan Isle, you can see that the leaves of willows wave gently with the wind and feel the mild wind from the lake that blows tenderly on your face. The Ying Isle is famous for its cherry blossoms. When the cherry blossoms bloom in the early spring, the isle seems to be an ocean of flowers. Liang Isle is the one that was developed earlier than the other four. Annually, the grand traditional exhibition of chrysanthemums is held there. On the Cui Isle, there are dark green pines, emerald green cypresses, tender willows, and light green bamboos. To the east of Ling Isle, you can see the beautiful clouds drifting across Zhong Mountain.

Each island has wonderful scenery: Nuona Tower on Huan Isle is full of special serene ambience. Wumiao Zha on Ling Isle has long history and of a reasonable design. Other places like the Lotus Garden on Ying Isle and the Hushen Miao on Liang Isle are also worth visiting.